By Anna Parks and Joe Vitale:
On Sunday, November 29th, the University of Georgia announced that head football coach Mark Richt had been fired. Multiple social media sites, especially Twitter, were booming with people’s opinions regarding the situation. Whether or not you support the removal of Coach Richt, there are some key aspects and views to consider.
When UGA played Southern University previously in the 2015 season, Devon Gales was severely injured; however, Coach Richt and the rest of the Bulldog Nation took in Gales and his family to make sure that he was in the best care possible and never lacking support. Over these past few months, Gales and Coach Richt had built a very strong relationship and in hearing the news about Coach Richt’s release, this was Gales’ response:
“I am saddened to hear about Coach Richt’s firing. He is a wonderful coach, mentor, and man of God. He and the staff understand that football is about more than just winning, it’s about shaping, molding and influencing the lives of young men. Because of that, Coach Richt, Coach Gantt, Coach Schottenheimer and all their staff are the biggest winners,” Gales said.
That is what is starting to take over college football. The idea that winning by the numbers is more important than winning off the field with character and integrity. Young men like Devon Gales notice that Coach Richt values the morals and beliefs of his players just as much, if not more, as winning on the scoreboard. Devon continues:
“Success isn’t about winning, it’s about changing the lives of young people. Building character, confidence, & rearing men, that’s who Coach Richt is. When I think about this news and that the decision is based upon win/lose, I’m amused because winning doesn’t mean as much to me anymore. I define winning now as success and success is strength of character, commitment, support, and fearlessness.”
Coming from a young man who has been through an unimaginably tough situation and lives day to day facing obstacles with a positive outlook, this message speaks volumes. Coach Mark Richt is a man of incredible honor with an outlook that football leads to the opportunity to show young men a Godly, honest, and dedicated lifestyle. Winning on the scoreboard and in the record books is every coaches’ and player’s goal, but at the end of the day winning off the field with dedicated and honorable players is what is most important.
Gales says that “winning doesn’t mean as much to me anymore,” and if the firing of a football coach can change the way that a player views the game then clearly the system is becoming corrupt.
Featured photo: Sravanthi Meka